SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found crooks taking advantage of people staying inside as they leave their cars running and warming up in this frigid weather.

“This is just not a good idea,” said South Euclid Officer Joe DiLillo. “In the past 55 days, we have seen an increase again where vehicles that are being warmed up unlocked are taken. It is a crime of opportunity. It’s easy for an individual to get their hands on a car that is running and available and they will take it.”

Since Dec. 1, ten cars have been stolen in South Euclid. Most of those were taken when the owners were warming them up.

“My car was stolen,” a woman told a South Euclid dispatcher a few days ago. “I actually went out to warm it up and then went back and it was gone.”

The woman, who was visiting a friend, was warming up her car in their driveway when it was taken.

“It is concerning to see a number of vehicles disappear like that,” DiLillo said. “We want to warn people not to leave your car running and unlocked. Use a remote starter. Be proactive, take the necessary steps and put them in place to avoid being a victim of this type of crime. If you don’t have a remote starter, go out and get yourself a second key for your car so you can lock it while you are warming it up.”

Police add that Ohio law states if you leave your car unlocked to warm it up somewhere public, like the street or a parking lot, you could face a charge. That’s another good reason to make sure your vehicle stays locked.